Rounds of rain, with signs of snow as temperatures cool over the Prairies

Rounds of rain take aim at the Prairies this week, with all eyes on a temperature drop that could help lead to periods of snow into the May long weekend

The next several days will see a very unsettled pattern across the Prairies, as a broad upper level trough and surface fronts sweep across the region. This will not only bring rounds of rain and a thunderstorm risk, but also heavy alpine snow as temperatures cool later in the week. It certainly wouldn't be Canada's unofficial kickoff to summer without signs of snow looming for the May long weekend forecast.

While this unsettled pattern may put a damper on long weekend recreational plans, this will be much-needed precipitation to combat the long-running, and widespread drought conditions across the Prairies.

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The downfall, however, is that most of the heaviest accumulations will stay south of the Fort McMurray area and the far north, areas where it is most needed for wildfires. There is still rain in the forecast, however, though likely not enough to completely ease concerns.

Wildfire smoke has already been causing poor air quality for parts of the region. It's important to remember to limit time outdoors when air quality is poor, as it can have adverse effects on health -- especially for young children and elderly people.

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Wet and unsettled pattern heading into the May long weekend

A trough and incoming Pacific lows will track across Western Canada for the next several days, bringing in periods of widespread rain, especially near the Yellowhead region across Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Baron - Prairies Friday am precip

The first system will continue its impacts through Thursday, with the second occurring Thursday through Saturday. The latter will bring more widespread, heavier rain, including to many of the long-term drought areas.

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By Friday, the low intensifies as it spins into central Saskatchewan. Wrap-around rain and snow showers are expected across northern Alberta, with the rain continuing across much of the south, impacting major cities like Calgary.

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A thunderstorm risk will stretch from southern Saskatchewan into Manitoba on Friday afternoon and evening.

Baron - Saturday PR precip

Widespread rain will push across Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Saturday, lifting northward across both provinces Sunday, with wraparound showers across the south. Expect scattered showers across Alberta on Sunday.

This wet pattern will bring beneficial rain to central Alberta, though likely not enough for desperate areas to the north. The rain is highly beneficial to agriculture, but could also become an issue with delaying spring planting.

Baron - PR Rain outlook

Signs of snow as temperatures drop

In addition to the rain, Thursday’s system threatens some substantial snow for the alpine regions of B.C., and into the central and southern Rockies of Alberta through Saturday. That's as temperatures sit about 5-10°C below normal.

We will closely watch to see if any snow will reach into the foothills and even localized areas east of the Rockies through the start of the May long weekend.

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Baron - Alpine snow

Temperatures will be well below seasonal across most of the region for the long weekend, with another significant system, and the potential for more snow, early next week.

Stay with The Weather Network for all the latest on your forecast across the Prairies.

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